Prep kid makes Detroit’s weak Mt. Rushmore of current athletes

It is foolish to do a Mt. Rushmore of current Detroit athletes. But I could not resist after the trade of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford shuffled up the deck. Some have suggested that Jared Goff make the list. There is one problem. He has yet to play one down of football for the local team.

I strongly considered receiver Kenny Golliday, but went with the controversial selection of Emoni Bates of Ypsi Prep.

My criteria to making the list always changes. This year I went with the three Ps — production, profile and presence. We don’t have much of that in Detroit.

I’m fortunate enough to have seen our Mt. Rushmore include Isiah Thomas, Steve Yzerman, Cecil Fielder and Barry Sanders.

MIGUEL CABRERA, DETROIT TIGERS: Miggy cannot stay healthy. His string of .300 days are behind him and he cannot get around on a fast ball and rip it down the left field line. However, he remains a future Hall of Fame player and no matter what you are doing you put it on hold when he comes to the plate — just in case magic is about to happen.

He will end his career with 3,000 hits and more than 500 home runs.

DYLAN LARKIN, RED WINGS: Depending on what you like out of your hockey players you can make a case for Tyler Bertucci or Anthony Mantha. Larkin lacks a huge resume, but he does wear the C on his jersey (sorry I hockey uniforms stopped being sweaters decades ago) and is local product from Waterford.

He scored 32 goals a couple seasons ago and remains the Wings main scoring threat during another forgettable season.

JERAMI GRANT, PISTONS: Why not Blake Griffin? He fits all the boxes of Cabrera. Aging athlete who can’t stay healthy but probably ends up in the Hall of Fame. This was a tough call.

This is Grant’s first season with the Pistons but he has created such a buzz in Pistons nation I went against my gut instincts and put him on the list. He has always been a decent player, now he is playing at an All Star level with career highs in points (23.6 ppg) and rebounds (5.9). Even his free throw shooting percentage (.867) is nearly 20 percentage points higher than his career average.

EMONI BATES, YPSILANTI PREP BASKETBALL

What Detroit area athlete is more likely to end up on the cover of Sports Illustrated? What Detroit athlete generates more national buzz than Bates who won Gatorade National prep player of the year as a sophomore?

He signed to play with Michigan State, but has the option to jump from high school to the NBA.

JERAMI GRANT, PISTONS

EMONI BATES, YPSI PREP

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Published by terryfoster8

I am a 58 year old retired sports journalist, husband and father of two living outside of Detroit in search of his next big adventure in life.

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